Stephen Donnelly confirms AstraZeneca vaccines can be used on all adults over 18
He said it will now be up to the HSE to implement the advice.
Stephen Donnelly has confirmed that National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) advice will see AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines allowed to be used on all adults over 18.
Speaking to reporters after arriving at a cabinet committee meeting on Monday night, the Minister for Health said that the NIAC advice is now for the AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines to be made available for all adult age cohorts.
Donnelly welcomed the advice and added that it will now be up to the Health Service Executive (HSE) to implement the new recommendations.
He also said it will be a number of weeks before supplies are available for younger groups.
The use of both vaccines is currently limited to the over-50s, but their use for younger groups could speed up the rollout once other cohorts have received their second dose of the jabs.
The update comes amid the increasing threat over the highly transmissible Delta variant of Covid-19.
The country is set to stop receiving AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the end of July when people in their 60's, health care workers, and people in high-risk groups receive their second dose. However, the new recommendation from NIAC could see the excess vaccines go to those in their 20s instead of going to waste.
It is also likely that the new advice will see the younger cohort given a choice over their vaccine preference.